Sugar Alcohol

By Turtle Latest Reply 2009-06-16 09:03:40 -0500
Started 2009-06-14 15:58:17 -0500

Does anyone know any thing abou sugar alcohol that can be helpful? When I was first diagnosed, I bought some sugar free mints. As I was enjoying one, I saw the "sugar alcohol" part of the label. I told my dr and she said I hd to watch out for that. It is in almost everything sugar free. How do I get around it?

6 replies

lipsie 2009-06-16 04:27:41 -0500 Report

This was also informative and interesting to me for I did not know all of this either. I knew a lil' bit of it. My question, is there any REAL sugar free candies out there that are safe? Hmmm interesting, good question though. Thanks to everyone! Sheila

kdroberts 2009-06-16 07:32:07 -0500 Report

Safe is a loaded word, what's safe for me might not be safe for you or anyone else. You have to try things and see. However, candies and chocolate are by nature sweet so something needs to sweeten them. If it's not sugar it will be artificial sweeteners. My feeling is if you are going to eat something like that, eat the best you can find and afford. That way you will enjoy the treat and unlike with a lot of fat/sugar free or reduced products, will satisfy your craving and you will stop at a small portion. Remember that most food is basically made up of 3 things, fat, protein and carbohydrate. Think of it as a circle. If you take away a wedge of any of them you are left with a gap that needs to be filled so it will be filled with one of the others or some other chemical. Classic example is reduced fat. You reduce the fat you increase the carb in 99% of foods.

GabbyPA 2009-06-16 09:03:40 -0500 Report

I think sometimes we just need to face that not only as diabetics, but as people in general, we eat too many sweets and getting them out of your diet is the best way. I don't eat cookies and cake anymore except on special occassions. My vice is ice cream, but I have found an all natural one that works for me well, and I just have to keep in mind that 1/2 C is all I need.

Learning to eat things with no sugar is hard at first, but you will be amazed at how much your cravings for sweet will drop off once you get rid of a lot of it...even the "fake" sweet of artificial sweeteners. They keep you wanting that taste. If you can teach your family and yourself to cut the "sweet" factor, you will all do better.

Before refined sugars came on the scene, a person ate an average of 4 pounds of "sweet" foods like honey or cane or nectar per year. Now we eat an average of 150 pounds of refined sugar per year. We are going down a bad path. It used to be a treat, but now it is an everyday thing. Just like growing up, going to McDonalds was a treat, not a quick lunch grab every day. Giving up fast food is the same way, once you do it, it is easier to get on with healthier choices.

I try to get most of my sweet from a fruit or a veggie. Dehydrated summer squash is really quite sweet and a little salty, so I make chips out of them for some of my snacking. A sweet potato is far better for you than a cookie, and you can cook them in all kinds of ways to make them fill that need for sweet. You just have to think outside the (candy) box and try new things.

kdroberts 2009-06-15 08:06:21 -0500 Report

Contrary to what was posted, a sugar alcohol is a sugar and an alcohol. They are basically carbohydrates from the general sugar group that have been hydrogenated to form an alcohol. Not the same type of alcohol you get in beer/wine/etc but chemically speaking an alcohol never the less.

The manufacturers who use them claim that they have no impact on blood sugar. Research shows they do but it varies from person to person. Generally 1/3-2/3 of the carb from the sugar alcohol will increase your blood sugar just like any other carb. Most are not digested in the normal way and are partially digested further down the digestive tract so can often lead to some unpleasant side effects. Also, oral bacteria can't break them down so they have no impact to teeth like sugar does.

The problem with them is that most are not as sweet as sugar so you need more or need another sweetener to compensate. The whole digestive thing is another issue. My big issue is that products that use them cost more and generally have very little benefit in terms of blood sugar management. In things like gum and mints where you are only eating maybe 1 or 2 grams and they sub out all the sugar its not so bad but things like cookies, cake mixes and ice cream it's just a big marketing ploy as most of the carbs in those things don't come from the sugar and will still be there even after sugar is replaced with sugar alcohol. For instance. Pillsbury yellow cake mix, 34g carb with 10g of sugar for the reduced sugar version, 35g of carb with 21g of sugar for the regular. If you take it that in the reduced sugar version that 11g of carb are the sugar alcohol and say that for an average person 50% of those will have little impact on blood sugar, you end up with a serving that will have maybe 28g of impact carbs. Is a reduction of 7g of carb really worth a reduction in flavor and roughly double the price?

GabbyPA 2009-06-14 18:56:27 -0500 Report

The main reason to watch for that is that because it is absorbed slowly, it tends to cause digestive issues such as diareha or cramping if you eat too much of it. Sugar free things need to be watched out in general because they are chemicals that are not natural and often can cause issues in many ways.

michaeldbarnett 2009-06-14 16:29:45 -0500 Report

Sugar alcohol is a bad name it is not a sugar
and it is not a alchhol.
It is a carbohydrate that enters your blood slowly.
I eat sugar free cookies that have it. My sugar
lewel does not riase from those cookies.
I do not know if 6grams of sugar alcohol in my cookies
equal x grams of sugar. Hope gave you some help.
Michael Barnett

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